Home Sweet Home

Taken before last night's Cardinals game. Note: We won! And, thank you Debbie for the excellent tickets and thank you Mom for taking me. You're the best! :)

I only have a few days left at home, so I thought I would share some stuff I'm currently diggin' during my staycation with Momma Cox:

SUP, DUDE?

I'll be back and hopefully I'll see you there!

Because I am currently unable to run (I know you're sick of hearing about it), I've really taken to my passion of stand up paddle boarding (SUP). It allows me to connect with nature without having to bend my knee (backward) and it's a great core workout. I've been fortunate enough to SUP in Kaua'i, Boston and Charleston but I figured I wouldn't be able to find it back home in the Midwest--this is in regards to rentals as I'm not ready to shell out the money for my own board until we are settled down and I know we're living near a body of water.

Long story short, I found a place (A GEM) nearby in Maryland Heights, Missouri.
BEST PART: Creve Coeur Lake Rentals only charges $10/hr. Chyeah, you read that correctly.

TEN BUCKS PER HOUR. 

It's the cheapest I've found throughout the country. Granted, the views may not be as scenic as the ocean (to others) and it's a lot easier on calm water but I thought it was pretty darn beautiful and the fish were jumping like crazy. Check out where you can find them and visit their WordPress website here.

They also rent canoes, quadricycles, bicycles and kayaks--all reasonably priced.
For my Windy City friends, a SUP rental has popped up on North Avenue beach. Check out Chicago SUP here.

Bottom line: Good fun and good times for $10 bones.


GOAT'S MILK AND HANDMADE SOAP


For my hometown folks, pick up this baby (and other scents) at Dominick's Dierbergs! I always call it Dominick's (Casey's local grocery store).

I love traveling, but dining out daily can take a toll on the waistline and one of my FAVORITE things to do is to go grocery shopping and buy fresh foods! While perusing the grocery store aisles, my large schnoz (yes, I am aware I have a big nose. Thanks, dad) picked up the scent of this beauty, Indigo Wild's Zum Bar Goat's Milk Soap in Lavender-Mint. It's delicious. 

The company is based in Kansas City, Missouri and you can find more scents and natural products on Indigo Wild's website. Plus, find out why they say you should consider goat's milk

Count me in as a new customer!

What's even better than visiting Dierbergs? Visiting Alton Exchange (shop local when you can). My mom's friend, Nancy, MAKES scrumptious handmade soaps, lotion, chapstick, oils, etc. herself! All available at Alton Exchange (2990 Homer M Adams Parkway) along with other awesome finds my mom and her friends have for sale. It's a great place to find new treasures.

Anyway, back to Nancy: I picked up her Goat's Milk Lotion in Spearmint Lavender (to go with my Zum Bar), her Lip Loving Butter Balm in Honey and a new bar of Orange Peel & Clove soap (it smells like fall) for when my Zum Bar runs out.

I am in love. Count me in as a new and loyal customer!

Bottom line: they smell great, they work, they're handmade, all ingredients are listed on the back (love this), they're local and they're cheaper than what you'd find elsewhere.

Example of the ingredients in the Lip Loving Butter Balm (honey): shea, cocoa and avocado butters, apricot, macadamia, jojoba, rose hip and vitamin E oils. Beeswax, flavor oil. 

Can't wait to purchase more the next time I'm home! :)

THE RETURN OF COLOR


My staple (black), orange cords and blue leggings.
Not pictured: green skinnies. I have a problem. The first step is to admit it.

The return of color pants is back for a third season. I usually just rely on two pairs of pants in my suitcase, but I decided to splurge this year. Oops. I despise shopping but when it comes to pants, I spend the money to buy a good pair that will last me a long time. I may also have an obsession with skinny jeans, and I'm not quite sure what fashion life was like before them. Ha!

With that said, I'm VERY frugal and I'm only bringing up my latest shopping trip because I want to highlight that it is SO MUCH CHEAPER to shop at outlets. I am brand loyal to Levi's and their pants are always $20 less (I'm talking per jeans) at a Levi's Outlet versus the actual Levi's store in your local mall or online. Plus, they always have a great sale rack--double bonus.

Although the St. Louis Mills mall (they have a Levi's Outlet) has become somewhat sketchy (when I went there were multiple cops patrolling the area) it is worth EVERY. SINGLE. DIME. to save that much money. If Levi's aren't your schtick, check out the brand spankin' new outlets (I haven't been, just heard about them) in Chesterfield. 

Bottom line: Go the extra mile to save money!

SCHLAFLY



Another obsession of mine? Pumpkin beers. So, it was only right that I tried my hometown brew: Schlafly Pumpkin Ale. I'd say the ratio of pumpkin overpowers the beer taste and that it's very similiar to Southern Tier Pumpking. Saranac continues to reign as my favorite pumpkin brew with just the right amount of pumpkin mixed with your standard ale.

Looking forward to trying O'Fallon's Pumpkin Ale before I leave. 

Bottom line: Will work for pumpkin beer. 

SQUASHED



And just as random as everything else in this post, my mom made a bomb organic acorn squash with brown sugar, a little butter and I think she added a dash of salt. I think?

Either way, it was YUUUMMMY (imagine that in your best Ace Ventura voice).

I found a similar recipe here.

WHAT ARE SOME COOL RANDOM STUFF YOU LOVE? 

PUMPKIN BEER SUGGESTIONS, GO! 
(What I've tried: New Belgium, Southern Tier, Saranac, Smuttynose, Harpoon, Schlafly, Long Trail, Rogue, Shipyard--and that's all I can think of right now...)

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